Japan’s largest drug company agrees $5.2bn deal to expand oncology portfolio and boost pipeline

Japanese drug company Takeda has agreed to acquire Cambridge, US-based Ariad Pharmaceuticals for $5.2 billion (£4.3 billion). Through the deal, Takeda gets rights to an approved leukaemia drug, a lung cancer drug that has been filed with US regulators, as well as Ariad’s early-stage pipeline and expertise.

In July, Takeda began restructuring its R&D to concentrate on US and Japanese sites with a focus on cancer, gastroenterology, central nervous system diseases and vaccines.

Takeda will get rights to leukaemia drug Iclusig (ponatinib), as well as investigational non-small cell lung cancer molecule brigatinib, which is under review by the US Food and Drug Administration.

Beyond those two products, Ariad’s expertise in targeted kinase inhibition linked to strong translational science offers additional pipeline opportunities, Takeda said. The company will ‘largely absorb’ Ariad’s R&D costs within its existing R&D budget.